Kim Kardashian is an icon in her own right, but when it comes to Halloween, she typically steps into the shoes of legends bigger than her. For this holiday, the 36-year-old “Keeping Up with the Kardashians” star channeled three music legends: Cher, Madonna, and Aaliyah. And though Kim saw tons of positive feedback for her arguably uncanny costumes, she was also heavily criticized for dressing up like a black woman.
On Saturday, Kim tweeted a video of her Aaliyah costume. The ensemble consisted of sleek, pin-straight hair, smokey-blue eyeshadow, leather pants, and a diamond encrusted choker, bra, and belt. “Baby Girl Aaliyah,” she captioned the video, nodding at the late R&B singer’s nickname.
Though some followers praised Kim for her Aaliyah-inspired outfit, others considered the look “disrespectful” considering the reality star isn’t the same race as the “Try Again” singer. (Kim is of Dutch, English, Irish, Scottish, and Armenian descent, while Aaliyah was African American with Native American heritage.)
On the flip side, some on the internet defended Kim’s look. Her supporters argued that, since she didn’t wear blackface, the costume was a simple homage and not racially insensitive. However others contended that Kim’s darker-than-usual tan was an attempt to emulate Aaliyah’s skin tone.
This isn’t the first time Kim has been accused of cultural insensitivity. In May, the middle Kardashian sister came under fire for a KKW Beauty photoshoot, in which some claim she wore blackface. Kim was accused of blackface again in August when her skin appeared darker than usual in a W magazine photoshoot with North West.
Kim has yet to respond to the Aaliyah backlash, so we guess we’ll just have to wait for Halloween on Tuesday to see if she’s going to stir up controversy again or play it safe with her costume.